The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said it would commence operations at the Chad Basin, Gongola and Benue Trough.
Therefore, in order to achieve its objectives, the Corporation has requested military supports to protect its workforce and high-tech equipment during the periods of its operations.
The reasons for military backup: The NNPC has experienced several cases of pipeline and asset vandalism in the past, hence the need for extra security from the military.
The Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Mele Kyari made this known at a management visit to the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, at his office in Abuja, on Tuesday.
In a statement by NNPC’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, the security issues experienced in the Chad Basin, Gongola, and Benue Trough, by the Corporation had made it difficult for the organization to fully commence operations.
“I am visiting the Chief of Defence Staff as my first port of call following my appointment to seek for the support of the Armed Forces to help the NNPC in re-entering the Chad Basin, Gongola, and Benue Trough to enable us to carry out our mandate for national development. Your support in terms of providing full security for staff and equipment is critical to us.”
He further added that the Military is needed in those regions to maintain tranquillity and also protect its pipelines and Right of Way (RoW) across the nook and cranny of Nigeria.
Mr Ndu also noted that the NNPC was seriously challenged due to the nefarious activities of pipeline vandals, petroleum products thieves and other economic saboteurs that breach the operations of the Corporation in various parts of the country.
The benefits of the collaboration: According to Kyari, the NNPC contributes significantly to the economy of Nigeria and its synergy with the Military is critical to the wellbeing of the nation’s economic lifeline.
Gen Olonisakin, while responding to the request said that the NNPC is a strategic Corporation that will be given full military support to enable her to deliver on her mandate to the Nigerian people.
“It is imperative for the Armed Forces and the NNPC to collaborate and synergise for the benefit of the country going by their various strategic roles to the nation. The Armed Forces operations, code-named Operation Wase, and Operation Delta Safe, along with other operations, were geared towards protecting pipelines and various oil and gas facilities.”